The 2017 All-Star Game has been moved from Charlotte because of concerns over a state law which the LGBT community says is discriminatory. The showpiece may return to North Carolina in 2019.
The NBA will make an announcement on the new host city for the February event in the coming weeks after blaming the controversial law for moving the game from Charlotte.
A law passed in March made North Carolina the first U.S. state to require transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings and schools that match the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity.
“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by (this law),” an NBA statement read.
The law, objected to by the White House, is viewed as deeply discriminatory by the transgender community.
Media reports said the NBA is now looking at moving the traditional midseason game, one of the standout dates of the basketball calendar, to New Orleans but other U.S. cities are also in the running.
The league left the door open to return to North Carolina in 2019 “provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter”.